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Pedroia makes an impact on fans but not on the game in Portland

'It's a great place to play, that's for sure,' said Dustin Pedroia in praise of Hadlock Field.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland Sea Dogs fans couldn't have been more excited to have Dustin Pedroia back on their hometown team. But a hit would have been nice.

His lack of offense did nothing to quiet the cheers that erupted every time he stepped onto the field Thursday night, May 2.

The Red Sox sent Pedroia to Portland to work on strengthening the knee that continues to give him problems after surgery.

Hadlock Field offered a familiar atmosphere for his rehabilitation. He was a member of the 2005 Sea Dogs team as he moved up the ranks of the Red Sox farm system. His World Series wins and MVP award became marks of local pride for Mainers.

Pedroia's return to Portland was brief, only lasting three at bats over five innings. He made contact twice but didn't reach base. Pedroia was critical of his performance even if the fans seemed happy just to see him.

"Feels good," he said in the locker room after his outing, adding with a laugh,"it didn't carry to right-center at all. Yeah, other than that, it was great. Great atmosphere, obviously. I was here in 2005, long time ago, but it's a great place to play, that's for sure."

The rest of the Sea Dogs mirrored Pedroia's lack of production as they were handily outscored, 10-1, by the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.